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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Gulf Coast News

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Pilot Thomas Logistics Expands Gulf Coast Reach

Fuel, lubricants and petroleum solutions provider Pilot Thomas Logistics (PTL) and its family of companies including Radcliff/Economy, Maxum Petroleum and Economy Boat Store, announced that PTL has received authorization from MSD Victoria to perform over the water transfers in the Houston-Galveston and Texas City Sectors. The authorization expands and extends the service area that now encompasses the entire Western Gulf Coast from Brownsville, Texas to Lake Charles, La."We’ve had early operational success in Brownsville…

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Global Crude Market Finds Support From China Demand

China, the global oil market's lifeline this year, has stepped up purchases from exporters like Russia, the United States and Angola in recent weeks, while buyers elsewhere pare orders as coronavirus infections surge and fresh lockdowns are put in place.China, the world's largest importer of crude, is the only major buyer expected to see increased oil demand this year as the pandemic destroyed consumption globally.With China's imports expected to reach 12 million barrels per day (bpd) next year…

(Photo: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock)

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Moving Its HQ to Houston

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. announced Thursday it is moving its corporate headquarters to Houston, positioning the nation’s largest dredging services provider nearer to major regional projects and opportunities. The firm will also open regional offices in Jacksonville, Fla., and Staten Island, N.Y.The move to Houston from from Oak Brook, Ill., which stems in part from changing industry dynamics, places the company closer to key regional customers and new markets, especially along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River…

Hurricane Sally (Photo: NOAA)

Offshore Oil Wells, Ports Shut as Hurricane Sally Advances on U.S. Gulf

Energy companies, ports and refiners raced on Monday to shut down as Hurricane Sally grew stronger while lumbering toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast, the second significant hurricane to shutter oil and gas activity over the last month.The hurricane is disrupting oil imports and exports as the nation's sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.The U.S. government said 21%…

File photo (Credit: Andrew Kendrick, U.S. Coast Guard)

US Energy Exports Severely Disrupted by Hurricane Laura

Oil and gas exports from the United States have been severely disrupted by Hurricane Laura, with nearly a million barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports likely reduced this week by closures of U.S. Gulf Coast terminals and disruptions at ports.The hurricane also temporarily suspended operations at several liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in the world’s third largest exporter of the super-cooled gas, with shipments on track to fall to their lowest in 18 months.Laura made landfall early Thursday near the Texas-Louisiana border…

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US LNG Loading Delays Expected as Hurricane Slams Gulf Coast

Loadings of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the United States likely will be delayed as a powerful storm strikes the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry on the Gulf Coast, forcing several LNG plants to shut.Hurricane Laura made landfall early on Thursday in southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the state, with forecasters warning it could push a wall of water 40 miles (64 km) inland from the sea. Landfall came near Louisiana's border…

Plaquemines Port to Build Mississippi River Container Terminal

Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District (PPHTD) said it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with several potential partners to development a multi-modal container terminal on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, La.The signing of the LOI kicks off a six-month due diligence period during which the parties will conduct multiple studies prior to making a final investment decision (FID).The proposed container terminal would encompass up to 1,000 acres and 8,200 feet of Mississippi River frontage just 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

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US Oil Exports to Europe Rebound

The United States has increased oil supply to Europe in July for the first month since May, making up for output cuts from OPEC+ members, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data.U.S. crude supply to Europe reached nearly 31 million barrels in July, according to Refinitiv Eikon data as of July 24. With crude prices back above $40 a barrel, U.S. producers have rushed to claim market share while the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, is still cutting supply drastically.U.S.

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US Ports Seek COVID-19 Relief

America’s port authorities are advocating for relief to manage the “extremely negative impacts” on the seaport industry brought on by the coronavirus pandemic as U.S. policymakers begin negotiations on the next COVID-19 aid package.Among the port leaders’ advocacy efforts are letters sent Friday to U.S. House, Senate and Administration leaders, urging them to provide $1.5 billion for seaports to cover business-critical expenses that ports have incurred due to COVID-19. The letters…

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Oil Traders Chase Storage Space in World Awash with Fuel

Oil traders are struggling to find enough ships, railcars, caverns and pipelines to store fuel as more conventional storage facilities fill up amid abundant supply and plummeting demand due to the coronavirus crisis.Dozens of oil tanker vessels have been booked in recent days to store at least 30 million barrels of jet fuel, gasoline and diesel at sea, acting as floating storage, as on-land tanks are full or already booked, according to traders and shipping data.That adds to about 130 million barrels of crude already in floating storage…

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US CDC Extends 'No Sail Order' for All Cruise Ships

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its “no sail order” for all cruise ships, as it looks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.The new CDC order says that cruise ships have to cease operations for up to 100 days, or the expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services' declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency, or if the CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order.The order, dated April 9, comes as the cruise industry takes a hit from the novel coronavirus outbreak…

Photo: Weeks Marine

Big Ship Ready Port Dredging Kicks off 2020

The end of the 2019 saw some unprecedented funding measure pass through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The Gulf and East Coast have continued to receive significant funding to help deepen and widen navigational channels and gateways. One of the projects passed into law included the Gulf Coast Regional Demonstration Project. Some of the ports receiving funding and underway include Mobile, Baltimore, Houston, Port Everglades and Norfolk. All these projects funded by Congress draw a direct correlation to the expanded Panama Canal.

(Photo: Port Houston)

Port Houston Tops Container Record

Container activity at Port Houston surged in 2019, logging an 11% increase to better the port's previous record. This marks the 18th consecutive year of container growth at the U.S. Gulf Coast's largest container port.Among the nation’s top 10 container ports, Port Houston was 2019’s fastest-growing, according to data from maritime sector data vendor IHS Markit PIERS.Port Houston nearly hit the 3 million mark for 20-foot equivalent units (TEU), recording 2,987,291 TEU.Executive…

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Port of LA Exec Says US Tariff Tiffs Could Be 'New Normal'

The executive overseeing the busiest U.S. gateway for ocean trade with China on Thursday said the "weaponization of tariffs" to advance U.S. policy interests may now be the "new normal."The comments from Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka came just a day after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu signed a Phase 1 agreement to defuse their 18-month-long trade war.The partial pact will cut some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese pledges to purchase more American farm…

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Corpus Christi Crude Exports Boom

U.S. crude exports from Corpus Christi, Texas, have surged to a record in recent weeks, often surpassing hubs such as Houston and Beaumont, Texas, thanks to faster-than-expected infrastructure additions.The infrastructure boom at Corpus Christi helped push crude exports there to a weekly record of 1.59 million barrels per day (bpd) in late December, more than doubling levels that held for the first eight months of last year, and above Houston's 2019 peak of 1.36 million bpd, according to vessel-tracking firm ClipperData.The heavy flows suggest that fears of a bottleneck that would impede U.S.

Teckie Hinkebein (Photo: HII)

Hinkebein Named Ingalls Media Manager

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that Teckie Hinkebein has joined its corporate communications team as a manager of media relations. She will report to Beci Brenton, corporate director of public affairs.“Teckie brings more than a decade of communications expertise to our corporate communications team,” said Jerri Dickseski, HII’s executive vice president of communications. “Her knowledge of media relations and marketing, existing relationships with local media and…

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

U.S.-Europe Tanker Rates at Record Highs

Rates for Aframax-class crude oil tankers leaving the U.S. Gulf Coast hit a record this week, according to three shipbrokers, reflecting strong demand in Europe and the Mediterranean for low-sulfur crude.Equinor ASA and Unipec, the trading arm of China's top refiner Sinopec, provisionally chartered Aframax tankers Everest Spirit and Nordorchid, respectively, this week at rates of 245 worldscale points, according to one broker and Refinitiv Eikon data. Both vessels are headed to Europe.The worldscale rate translates to about $60…

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Retail Imports to See Final Tariff-Driven Surge

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to see their final surge of the year this month ahead of new tariffs set to take effect in December, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.“Retailers are highly competitive, but the ability to compete has been challenging this year because of the uncertainty of the trade war and continued tariff escalation,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Energy Transfer: VLCC Offshore Port to be Ready Early 2023

Energy Transfer LP said on Thursday discussions with potential shippers to build an offshore crude export facility in Texas capable of handling supertankers were progressing on schedule, with the project expected to be in service by late 2022 or early 2023.The company has also made advances on the regulatory and permitting process for the project, Marshall McCrea, Energy Transfer's chief commercial officer, said on the company's quarterly earnings call.Plans call for the facility to be connected to Energy Transfer's Nederland…

A VLCC loads crude oil in the port of Corpus Christi, TX (File image / credit Port of Corpus Christi)

Exxon, Trafigura Tap Lower Freight Rates

U.S. crude exports to Asia, which have slumped due to record freight costs, stirred on Thursday as rates slid and the premium in Asia for Russia's ESPO Blend oil sent buyers back to U.S. grades, according to market sources.Oil shipping costs for United States Gulf Coast to Asia cooled this week from record highs on the prospect of more vessels becoming available. Nearly 300 oil tankers globally were placed off limits due to U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.Seventeen supertankers returned to service in October after being sidelined for overhauls, as 11 entered drydocks.

HII Expands Shipbuilder Academy Program

America’s largest military shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday for its new Shipbuilder Academy site in Gulfport.Shipbuilder Academy was established in 2016 at Ingalls’ Maritime Training Academy with a mission to provide enrolled students with a strong foundation in the maritime industry and fill the current industry skills gap.Through a partnership with the Gulfport School District…

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Disruptions to Global Shipping Industry Explained

Oil shipping rates are soaring following a series of sanctions on a Chinese transportation giant and limitations placed on movement of Venezuelan crude oil tankers.WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SHIPPING RATES?The cost of chartering a supertanker to send crude oil from one country to another is rising sharply. A South Korean importer paid more than $12 million in shipping costs for one crude shipment from the U.S. Gulf Coast. This was followed by Friday's tentative charter of another crude…

File Image: the M/V Maran Andromeda (Credit: MarineTraffic.com / © Ken Scott)

Occidental Tentatively Fixes VLCC for Record $13.25 mln to Asia

Occidental Petroleum Corp provisionally chartered a supertanker to ship U.S. crude to South Korea for a new record of $13.25 million in November, three shipping sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.The Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Maran Andromeda was chartered by Occidental on Friday for an estimated Nov. 20 departure, according to one shipbroker and Refinitiv Eikon shipping data.Global shipping rates, and in particular U.S. Gulf Coast to Asia <TD-LPP-SIN>, have skyrocketed after the United States in late September imposed sanctions on two units of China's COSCO…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Carabay

VLCC Rates Surge as U.S. Sanctions COSCO

Freight rates to ship U.S. crude to Asia continued to surge, with costs to charter a supertanker rising to a record $12 million on Thursday, shipping sources familiar with the matter said.South Korea's top refiner, SK Energy, tentatively chartered the supertanker Maxim to ship U.S. crude to South Korea in November for a record $10 million earlier in the week but that fixture has since failed, the sources said.The company now has conditionally booked the Pacific M at a new record of $12.35 million…

AEC Collaborates with ABS for ULEC

American Ethane Company (AEC) is collaborating with ABS, the global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, on a next generation fleet of Ultra Large Ethane Carriers (ULEC).ABS is actively supporting AEC and its shipping project partners, who will build, own and operate a fleet of ULECs to transport 7.2 MTPA of US ethane to China.“ABS is a world leader in the classification of gas carriers and classes the majority of the large ethane carriers built to date…

The NOAA National Hurricane Center Storm Cone situation at 1100 hours local on 30 August 2019.

Florida Braces for a Hit as Dorian Strengthens

Florida's governor on Friday urged residents in the state to stock up on at least a week's worth of food, water and medicine and to prepare to lose power and cellphone service for days after Hurricane Dorian makes landfall early next week.The slow march and rising intensity of the storm, which is moving in a northwestern direction to the Bahamas, has alarmed forecasters who worry parts of Florida will be walloped by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for an extended period."I think there’s a pretty high degree of certainty that this is going to be a major hurricane…